Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Wish For The New Year

It seems like we wish this every year, for one reason or another. Still, it's a wish worth repeating. As often as it takes. I'm not crazy about the quality of this video, but the intent is there:

And as an extra-special treat, check out this Hugh Harman MGM cartoon from 1939... it's the only cartoon to ever be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. It's a little sugary in the early going, but stick with it until about 2 1/2 minutes in... it's worth it:

Happy New Year!

Posted by FleshPresser at 6:38 PM /

Tomorrow Begins Today!

The initial thought for John Edwards was to announce his official candidacy for President during the final week of 2006, so that he'd be out in front before others officially announce, and that his campaign could take advantage of a slow news week.

Who knew a former President would die, a former dictator would be executed, and a music legend would pass away?

Regardless, John Edwards will have plenty of time to get his message out in the next year:

Check out the strong, positive message of John Edwards, and consider getting involved - I have found getting involved in a political campaign to be one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had.

Posted by FleshPresser at 12:42 PM /

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Some Thoughts On Saddam Hussein

After consulting a friend of mine, I have been informed that the death of a notable world figure DOES, in fact, count when identifying a "celebrity death trifecta," regardless of the manner of death. Saddam's execution, therefore, completes the current death trifecta: James Brown, Gerald Ford, and Saddam Hussein. Wow. Poor James Brown.

I've never seen Fox News so happy. Well, not for a long time - they've finally got some "good news" to report. But is it really "good news?" Is our world any safer? Is Iraq better served? What will George Bush do without Saddam Hussein to kick around any more?

Yes... Saddam was a brutal dictator, and he was personally responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens. But does that mean I agree with his execution? Nope. Sorry.

You see, I consider myself to be an actual Christian. Not a political Christian, nor a condescending, judgemental Christian. Here's what Christians SHOULD believe regarding execution:
"But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions." Matthew 6:15

"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you, don't stand against an evil person. If someone hits you on the right cheek, then turn and let him hit the other cheek too." Matthew 5:38-39

"Judge not, that ye be not judged." Matthew 7:1

"Thou shalt not kill." Exodus 20:13
What strikes me as equally interesting is that those who defend Gerald Ford for his compassion in showing mercy to Nixon are the very same individuals who are thrilled at the execution of Saddam Hussein today.

What's been CRAZY is listening to any of the news channels today as they switch back and forth among their different "lead stories"... as I have it on in the background, it becomes very confusing to follow who they're talking about. CNN, at one point, had a split screen, following the James Brown funeral in Augusta, the arrival of Gerald Ford's body and the motorcade, and people celebrating the death of Saddam in Dearborn, Michigan - all at the same time. They have pundits then commenting on each one, and if you're not listening closely, it's possible to come up with some hysterical foul-ups, including at one point where I thought that they were reporting that MC Hammer was going to be attending the funeral of Gerald Ford.

What a crazy way to end what has been a horrendous year.

Posted by FleshPresser at 12:11 PM /

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Gerald Ford - A Man Of Contradictions

Gerald Ford died on Tuesday. He was the oldest living former President, and yet possibly understood less than any other living former President. As we were preparing a post about the "Political Look Back at 2006," it seemed more appropriate to create a separate post about President Ford.

Gerald Ford was a living contradiction. While parodied on Saturday Night Live by Chevy Chase as a stumbling "accident-waiting-to-happen", he was probably the most athletic of any American President - he was an All-American and had offers to join both the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers.

Ford assumed the presidency, having never received a vote for himself on a Presidential ticket - either as President or as Vice President. Ironically, he was appointed to the VP position when Spiro Agnew resigned, and then assumed the Presidency when Nixon resigned.

Ford will always wear the cloak of his indefensible pardon of Nixon, signaling to many Americans "business as usual" - corruption and politicians being above the law. While the test of time may have signaled that it was probably the right thing to do, it is indefensible given the speed with which it was done, without Congressional authorization, and before any kind of investigation could even begin.

Ford also holds the distinction of surviving two assassination attempts by Squeaky Fromme and Sara Jane Moore within three weeks of each other.

Of course, we can always thank Gerald Ford for the introduction of folks like Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and the elder George Bush into the White House Administration.

The position Ford found himself in upon taking control of the White House was not ideal by any means. He found our country in a similar situation to the one we find ourselves in now. Following Vietnam, however, Ford offered healing in the form of amnesty to draft dodgers, and was ballsy enough to announce his decision to an audience of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

President Ford will not go down in history as the best President, nor will he be remembered as the worst. What remains to be seen is if the focus given to Ford's legacy will present any "learning moments" for our current President, as he faces some of the same challenges that were in front of Gerald Ford.

Posted by FleshPresser at 9:00 AM /

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Rest Easy, Godfather

James Brown passed away on Christmas morning, and while Christians around the world commemorated the birth of a Savior, at least a few of us also mourned the loss of a Legend.

One of the first albums I bought in college was Live at the Apollo, on the advice of a cherished friend, and it literally changed the way I looked at music.

The Hardest Working Man in Show Business was admitted into the hospital on Sunday for pneumonia, having just completed an appearance on Friday, where he handed out toys to kids for Christmas. He was scheduled to appear on New Year's Eve in New York City.

The Godfather of Soul was no saint - his life included ugly incidents with drugs and spousal abuse. In an age where Hollywood is drawn like moths to the flame when it comes to Musician biopics (see Walk The Line and Ray, to name just a few), it seems like it will only be a matter of a very short time before someone puts together the script for the next blockbuster, based on the life of James Brown. He'll become the flavor of the month - everyone will be buying James Brown CDs again, and talking about what a genius he was, and how they were such a huge fan.

And that seems sad to me. Too many times, we really fail to see the genius of an artist until after they've passed away. Without James Brown, Funk would not exist as we know it today. Nor would Soul. Nor would Rap or R&B.

While James Brown is no longer here, his music and legacy remain, and will continue to influence generations to come.

Posted by FleshPresser at 5:16 PM /

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Merry Chanzaamas, Barack!

For your Chanzaamas present, I'm happy to report that you are officially a viable candidate for President of the United States.

How can I be so sure? Conservatives are taking him seriously, and have already begun attacking him - over 23 months prior to presidential general elections.

On what basis, you may ask, are they attacking him? Perhaps his votes in Congress? His stand on policy issues?

Nope. They're taking on the REALLY important issues. His middle name, which happens to be Hussein. They're questioning his loyalty to the United States in a McCarthyist spirit, stating that members of his family were Muslims, and therefore it would be impossible for him to remain loyal to the United States. They're attacking the way he dresses as being similar to that of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. They're attacking the size of his ears.

Have conservative Republicans not learned their lesson yet? These completely petty, insignificant, and utterly ludicrous attacks will only drive voters further away from their camps.

Voters are concerned about the war in Iraq. They're concerned about the economy. They're concerned about gas and energy prices. They're concerned about keeping our country safe from terrorism, rather than fighting an imaginary "war on terrorism."

And while these concerns remain unaddressed, conservative pundits decide that it's far more important to focus on the size of a potential candidate's ears, or his middle name.

Merry Chanzaamas, America. As always, you'll get exactly what you ask for, and what you deserve if you listen to attacks like these.

Posted by FleshPresser at 5:41 PM /

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

What's In The Pipe, Santa?

If he's "flying high" over the United States, chances are good I know what he's smoking.

According to a report released on Monday, marijuana is the leading cash crop in America. The statistic that blew me away, however, is this one - U.S. growers produce $35 billion dollars worth of the crop annually - a figure that towers over wheat and corn COMBINED.

Oh, and by the way... it's illegal.

Granted, this report was released by NORML (the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), but when a spokesperson for the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy was asked to comment, he couldn't confirm the "wholesale" value - instead, he stated that overall U.S. illegal drug use ran over $200 billion annually.

So, maybe you're opposed to legalization. Fine. But how many more statistics do you need before you realize that the "war on drugs" that we've been pouring money into for decades simply isn't working?

Then again, we seem to enjoy pouring money into non-functioning wars, don't we?


Posted by FleshPresser at 12:35 AM /

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


In the whole political minefield of holiday greetings, we are all struck at one time or another wondering what to wish each other during the "merriest of seasons."

For my money, I accept all greetings. Although I celebrate Christmas, if someone were to wish me "Happy Chanukah!" - well, I would accept it in the spirit that it was intended... someome trying to wish me their tidings of good will during the cold month of December.

Still, for some of you, this simply will not do. So, in an attempt to make as many people happy as possible, I am hereby coining the phrase "MERRY CHANZAAMAS!!!" A quick Google search showed no entries for the word, so I am claiming it as my own - right here, right now - but I give it to each of you as a gift during this holiday season.

It seems to roll off the tongue quite easily, and sounds as fun as the season is intended to be.

For those of you who complain that I'm taking the "Christ" out of Christmas - please be a Christian and heed the words of Matthew:
And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
Now, get over it, and get on board! As for the "symbol of the season," I can think of nothing more appropriate than a simple light in the night. It can be as extravagant as any outdoor display currently festooning a suburban abode, or as simple as a candle being held in a dark room. Anything that provides light in a positive way qualifies, so be creative.

Spread the word, and say it with me....


Posted by FleshPresser at 6:05 PM /

A Lesson In Flesh

As it turns out, Donald Trump has given Miss USA, Tara Conner, a second chance. Our mentor in fabulousity has the backstory, so we'll focus on the decision instead.

Here it is, simply put.

This is Donald Trump:

This is Tara Conner:

This is Tamiko Nash, the runner up who would have taken over Conner's position:

Remember, THIS is Donald Trump:

Now, you do the math.

Posted by FleshPresser at 3:50 PM /

The Hiatus is Over....

...and right about the time that most are going ON hiatus for the holidays, we're pushing onward!

We had QUITE a hangover after the 2006 elections, as well as the completion of a very successful show - my other life when I'm not blogging - and so we took a little time off to relax and rest on our laurels, so to speak. As it turns out, when one rests on their laurels too long, the blood doesn't get to them, and they wind up getting all tingly and falling asleep! Who knew?

Anyway, the PTF staff is awake once again and will once again be broadening out our scope to look at political flesh-pressing, as well as the pop cultural propaganda floating through our world.

So, give us a minute or two to warm the engine up, and we'll get ready to roll!

Posted by FleshPresser at 9:24 AM /